2023 Time Tracking Challenge: Day 3 — Wednesday is not the middle of the week

If you’re playing along with the 2023 Time Tracking Challenge, I hope Day #3 went well! Fun fact: Wednesday is not the middle of the week. If you are tracking Monday-Sunday, as I do, then the middle of the week is in the middle of Thursday (with my time logs starting at 5 a.m., the middle of the week happens Thursday at 5 p.m.).

Anyway, here in the first half of the week things are chugging along. Last night after I posted here I took the 3-year-old up, read him stories, gave him his “baba milk” and waited while he fell asleep. This took longer than I would have liked as another child decided to start singing outside the door. The singing was perfectly lovely…but not when I’m trying to get a kid to sleep. As a result I got sucked into some Twitter arguments. Ah…

Anyway, he was down at 9:30 p.m. and I did Legos with my daughter, and then read to the 7-year-old. I turned everyone’s lights out and answered emails until 10:30. At that point I went upstairs to read but could not focus and wound up scrolling more (see the Twitter argument before…). A little voice in my head tried to convince me I could stay up later (somebody is wrong on Twitter! How could I go to bed?), but I told it to be quiet and I turned off my light by 11 p.m.

This morning I got up at 6:30 a.m. as usual, made sure the 15-year-old was up, showered, and was attempting to put my contacts in when the 3-year-old started screaming for me. Naturally, it then took twice as long to get my contacts in, and I was getting flustered. The upside is that the 3-year-old then came with me to bring the 15-year-old to school (I woke the middle school kids up before heading out the door). We came home, I confirmed that the 13-year-old and 11-year-old were mostly ready, and they got out the door for the bus. Our nanny came at 8 again, and I got some things done (10 pages of Jane, 2 lines of the sonnet, a blog post that I then forgot to hit publish on) before I needed to leave at 9 a.m. for a doctor’s appointment.

Theoretically this was only 12 minutes away, but I left 25 minutes early and it was good I did because there was so much construction on the way, plus a 10-car line-up trying to get in the parking garage, and I walked in the waiting room right at 9:30. Fortunately, getting there took longer than the appointment. I was back in my car at 10 and home 10:20. At this point, as I sat down at my desk, I noticed a gentleman waving at me through the window. It was the furniture delivery people, who I guess had knocked but not rang the doorbell (our nanny was waiting for the delivery while I was gone but no one could hear the knock). Anyway, they delivered the end tables, and I sat back down at my desk and noticed my husband had called so I called him back and was glad to learn his crew of folks hadn’t been affected by the two hour ground stop of all domestic air travel. Oh my goodness, I can’t even imagine the havoc that wreaked on people today. If your time log has that I am so so sorry.

Anyway, I finally got to work after that and did about 90 minutes of editing and such until 12:15 when I ate a quick lunch. I then played the piano and sang for 20 minutes, then had a 45 minute call to help onboard my new virtual assistant! (1-1:45). This is very exciting — she and I met with the team that’s been helping me on newsletters and such for many years (but are transitioning to other things).

After, I put on my running clothes and ran for 32 minutes, covering 2.7 miles according to my phone step counter (I feel like it was a little more but who knows, because that seems pretty slow). I then did more work, including an email triage for 2 hours from 2:45-4:45 p.m.

At that point, the 3-year-old was yelling for me, so I came out of my office to talk with him. He decided to come with me to go pick the 15-year-old up at school (5:00 pick up). I had said no Starbucks today, but as soon as the 15-year-old got in the van, the 3-year-old started asking “Starbucks? Starbucks?” My eldest noted that he’d be totally fine with that, and the 3-year-old kept asking (he likes cake pops) until I agreed. So we were back there again for more strawberry acai lemonades (an update on that — I drank half mine at home, the 3-year-old demanded it, so I gave it to him and he promptly spilled it all over the floor).

Upon returning home at 5:20 p.m. I worked for another 25 minutes until the 13-year-old needed a device for his virtual alto sax lesson. I set him up in my office, grabbed my other computer, and headed over to the garage to chat with a group in Connecticut about Tranquility by Tuesday (6-7 p.m.). Why the garage? Because the sound of the alto sax was noticeably loud in the house proper…

I came back at 7 p.m., nanny left, I ate dinner (eggs and bacon leftover from what the kids had already eaten). I hung out with the 3-year-old doing Play-doh until he started throwing it, at which point I put it up on a shelf and we shall see if it ever comes out again. I hate Play-doh, but Santa brought it so what can I do.

At 7:25 p.m. my daughter took over babysitting duties and the 13-year-old, 7-year-old and I took the trash and recycling out. This is cardboard night, and since we missed cardboard night over Christmas there is A LOT of cardboard. We took some. (The 15-year-old had math tutoring). It was a cold and crisp night, so not terrible, but I always feel on these trash nights like my driveway is really long.

Anyway, now I am posting this. I’ll bring the 3-year-old up shortly for a bath. He’s been on the computer watching Octonauts (and working on a diaper…) while I write this…

15 thoughts on “2023 Time Tracking Challenge: Day 3 — Wednesday is not the middle of the week

  1. Oof, busy day! And I’m nosy and had to go look up the twitter argument. Gosh, people are weird “I retired my wife…”, way to rob her of her agency.

    I had a fairly “normal” day, I cycled to school with kiddo and stopped to notice that it’s getting lighter in the AM. There’s a route I’d like to do after dropoff on my bike (through a historic estate), but the road isn’t safe at dawn (Scotland…) so I’m looking forward to February when I can do that. Teaching prep, admin, no research yesterday, sadly. A lunch break with my husband who was also WFH. I started dinner while he cycled to get T at aftercare. I made him a snack “an amuse bouche”, as he calls it, and he ate while doing his reading homework. Dinner, bedtime routine, hang out time. My son has this habit of asking us to come back and check on him in 10 minutes, and then calling out after 5 minutes, to tell us he doesn’t need to be checked on. So I snuck in for a bonus kiss and cuddle. I fell off the W&P train halfway through the book last year when my Kindle went missing, so I’m back on that, reading a few chapters each day.

    1. @Cb – yeah, the “retired my wife” language is a bit…off-putting. I’m willing to bet I make more than a lot of the gentlemen who brag of having retired their wives, and yet this would never be part of my mindset. It would not occur to me to ever use this language with somebody who is supposed to be your partner!

  2. Now I am curious too about the Twitter argument. Yet I can’t find it. Lol. I hate Twitter too.

    I saw the article about women wanting to work. I think that is fair and true.

    I was a stay at home mom for just over 11 years by choice. My husband actually wanted to be a stay at home dad. His company at the time was so much better than mine and my contract was ending so my company was like good luck finding another position in our company. That made it an easy answer. I quit!

    What most don’t get a stay at home parent is working just as much or more and is always on! Never getting real breaks. I saw this with my fellow SAHMs.

    My husband and I are a team and worked closely to give each other time. It was not easy.

    More reason I like this challenge because it helps me see where my time goes.

    Fast forward, I became a financial coach, helping families and individuals with budgeting and finances. It isn’t something we are taught in school. Our parents might not be great at it and they may not know how to teach it to our kids.

    I love coaching and helping. I do it part time. Having that while being with my family is amazing.

    As the kids grow older, I wished for a little more. Unfortunately, Covid changed everything. Online school and lack of clients changed everything. Then in late 2020, a friend suggested I apply for a remote position. I did!

    Since then I have been working hybrid and recently changed to 100% remote position. The silver lining of covid. I can be home for the kids after school and before school. Feel accomplished outside the home. Plus, get paid! This will help us reach some of our goals.

    I think staying at home parenting isn’t just for moms either and I think we as a society should be more welcoming to it. The problem I had was my resume. I was told over and over my experience didn’t count including my volunteer work and my own business. It was heartbreaking at times. It took a lot of interviews and time to find the right place. I wish people would appreciate whatever choices people make.

    My Wednesday was much better than my Tuesday. Tuesday had some rough patches with the kids. Wednesday was so much better. I also got enough sleep and did again last night. I think that helps a lot! Plus, my husband was available to balance some tasks more on Wednesday then Tuesday.

    Now to enjoy Thursday!

    1. @Holly – re-entering the workforce can be challenging. I’m glad you were able to make it work and I totally agree that people need to stop viewing “gaps” in the way that they tend to do. No one lost their brain or work ethic caring for kids! The Twitter conversation was as these things go…lots of anonymous people saying silly things 🙂

  3. What a day, indeed.

    Play-Doh and glitter – whoever invented either of these items DID NOT HAVE SMALL CHILDREN.
    For the most part, Play-Doh, glitter, and paint only happened at preschool. They had all the gear and proper cleanup techniques.

    Christmas 2021 I got all fancy and made homemade peppermint scented Play-doh over the holiday break – with glitter and food colouring I might add – and it was amazing (homemade Play-doh is amazing), but no one wanted to play with it. Sigh.

    1. @Elisabeth – yep, play-doh was always an other-people’s-houses thing but we got some for Christmas and the truth is it really does occupy him for a while when he’s in an amenable mood. Like you can cook dinner while he does Play-doh at the kitchen table. But last night it had been a long day, his nap was late, and as he started throwing the play-doh, and then climbing up on the table to stomp on a pile of it that he had taken off the mat…ugh.

  4. I want to know what the twitter argument is too.

    So funny, I actually LOVE play doh, but my oldest has been a fairly chill kid (girl) who can actually sit down and play with stuff without making a total disaster out of it. My younger one isn’t old enough for play doh yet but she has a completely different personality so maybe my thoughts on the matter will change.

  5. Hello, I love your write up. Would you mind sharing it in the excel format as I have so many doubts about how to fill it up? If you come home at 5:20 and work for 25 minutes which time slot do you mark it? If something extends beyond the 30 minutes, do you merge the two rows or duplicate them? Such kind of questions. I know you have asked us to fill it the way we feel best, but seeing this log in a tabular format would help me immensely! Thanks!

  6. I love the narrative of your day. I feel like we get to know the real Laura 🙂 the Starbucks incident was oh so relatable. I bet you wanted to laugh (or cry? Both?)

  7. When you post days like this, I feel like I know your whole family. Longtime readers know about the breakfast for dinner on Wednesday nights and when you listed the eggs, it instantly made me think- Oh – Wednesday at Laura’s. Another idea I have been meaning to borrow from her.

    I just had to reply about two relatable topics.

    I have some great airline miles because the dog had to have an expensive vet visit for eating homemade (fun nanny day made) playdough. I believe the reason was the that the salt content is toxic and so is the cream de tar tar. So now we have a strict ban on the dough (and raisins) for the love of the dog and I am not sad about it. And so glad the dog was ok. She ate a lot of rainbow dough!!!! Not suggesting everyone ban the dough, but could be a loophole for other readers if they need a “reason” that a kid can understand. We don’t have the dough because we have the dog 🙂

    And a word about the Octonauts. 5 stars. Nobel prize worthy. Love it. I haven’t read the original books for the series but the show gets an amazing review from me. Very cool plots, great new vocab, funny named characters and pretty enthralling episodes. I hope this continues to be what my daughter has as her fav! Hope Henry likes it too!

    1. @Nicole – yep if it is Wednesday it is breakfast for dinner night! Total 5 stars for Octonauts. One of my favorites for sure. He just found Steve and Maggie and I am not a fan of that…

      1. I miss octonauts. We went to the aquarium in Lisbon and T was full of fun facts and my dad asked how he knew so much…. Octonauts.

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